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The Top 6 Strategies For Keeping New Year’s Resolutions Year Round!
Every year, thousands of people make New Year’s resolutions ranging from quitting smoking to being more organized to getting fit and losing weight.
However, according to studies, 35% of all New Year’s resolutions are fulfilled within the first 4 weeks. What about you? Have you ever started the new year with an initial burst of enthusiasm and a firm resolve to change your ways, only to have those nasty habits creep back in by February?
If so, this article is for you! Read on to learn how to keep your New Year’s resolutions all year long.
New Year’s resolution number 1.
A survey conducted by a leading international health magazine revealed that the number 1 New Year’s resolutions are:
a) Lose weight and b) Get fit
We all recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight and an adequate level of cardiovascular fitness. Your health and fitness are the basis of everything good in life.
So, if you’re sick of being overweight, unfit, unhealthy (or all of the above) and your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and get in shape, here are the top 6 strategies to incorporate into your daily lifestyle and avoid the New Year’s Revolutionary Fall Out!
1) Avoid the “all or nothing” approach!
Okay, you’re all fired up. You will lose 20 pounds in the first 20 days. And to achieve this, you will follow a low-carb, low-calorie diet of less than 1,500 calories per day. In addition, you will exercise 6 days a week for at least 1 hour at a time.
Sounds doable, right? But here’s why this approach is guaranteed to fail! It all has to do with SUSTAINABILITY…
95% of people who go on commercial calorie-reduced diets gain their weight back—and sometimes more—in 24 months or less. Always ask yourself, “Can I follow this type of eating plan week after week, month after month, year after year? Or I’m likely to feel depleted, give in to cravings, and overindulge in a few short weeks. (The most common scenario.)
Plus, with all that exercise, there’s a good chance the weight you lose won’t just be body fat. Excessive exercise in conjunction with a calorie-reduced diet usually results in a loss of water weight and muscle mass. This means that your weight loss is likely to be very temporary, as your reduced muscle mass actually compromises your body’s ability to burn fat long-term.*
Therefore, your nutrition plan should be one that you can follow without any deprivation. This means having the occasional cheat meal built into your plan so you’re less likely to go off the rails!
If your nutrition plan/training program is too strict, you will most likely get frustrated and give up. That’s why it’s called “all or nothing”. We must find a middle ground!
Programs like the Body Blueprint 5 Week LEAN Program and the Body Blueprint 12 Week Challenge have sensible, balanced nutrition plans and the exercise component is only 4-5 hours per week. In other words, these programs are also sustainable in the long term.
*Note: If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off long-term, it is not enough to just do cardiovascular work such as running, swimming, cycling, etc. It is essential to include some form of strength training (weightlifting).
2) Prioritize and Diarise!
Since you’ve found your health and fitness to be your top priority, don’t forget to book exercise times in your weekly planner. This is YOUR time! In other words, schedule everything else for these times. And remember that work commitments will always wait no matter what. If you put off exercising, the more likely it is that other things will come up throughout the day and eat up your precious exercise time.
Tip: If possible, train first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day and studies show you’ll burn more fat too.
3) Get organized!
Don’t leave it to chance! If your nutrition plan calls for 3 small meals and 2 small snacks each day, take an extra 15 minutes in the evening to prepare your meals ahead of time. (The best time is when you’re making dinner.) Not only will this save you time the next day, but you’ll be less likely to indulge in unhealthy snacks and save money in the process.
And don’t forget to pack your workout gear, sneakers, and iPod ready for the next day!
4) Surround yourself with supportive people
Know that there will be times when the going gets tough and you’d rather have a day off or have an extra cheat meal. (Don’t get me wrong, every now and then is fine, just make it the exception rather than the rule.)
It is during these times that it really helps to have supportive friends, family and/or co-workers. Make friends with members at your local gym who share your common goals and who have found ways to overcome these temporary problems. You might even consider working out with a friend. Not only will your workouts be fun and exciting, but you’ll also have a healthy sense of competition!
5) Remind yourself why!
If you find yourself procrastinating and making excuses, remind yourself why you started exercising and eating well in the first place. What motivated you to change your ways? Maybe you were tired of feeling exhausted and lacking energy? Maybe you wanted to start feeling more confident and increase your self-esteem? Maybe you wanted to have more energy for your children? Do you really want to go back to that “dark place” by neglecting your health?
However, once you’ve been practicing regularly for a few months, I guarantee you’ll experience great physical and mental benefits that will keep you coming back for more!
6) Use external sources of motivation
Unless you are a highly motivated individual, it is unrealistic to stay 100% motivated 100% of the time. Some of the extrinsic motivational tools you can use from time to time include:
a) Personal trainers.
Think of a personal trainer as your personal coach. They can design new programs, spice up your workouts, and work out with you one-on-one. Meetings at set intervals will keep you accountable and on target towards your goals.
b) Motivational CDs/books/films
My favorites include motivational guru Anthony Robbins and the book/movie ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.
c) Inspirational music
Music is a great addition to your exercise program. Create a playlist of your favorite motivational songs for your mp3 or iPod and watch your workout soar!
Make this year the healthiest year of your life. By following the principles above, you’ll keep your New Year’s resolution intact and enjoy the benefits of health and fitness all year long.
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